My wedding is this weekend and a couple of months ago I requested a day off this week and all of next week for wedding prep and then our honeymoon. My boss agreed to give me this time off and though we have no concrete time off policy, he told me it would be paid vacation time.

I am an hourly non-exempt employee but my employer tries to treat me like I am exempt. Today I told him that side projects and sudden tasks that he keeps giving me have put me behind on tasks that I should finish before the vacation and his response was that I would have to put in extra hours this week (days before my wedding) to make up the time I would miss while on vacation, implying that he expected me to volunteer the extra time because he was paying me for the vacation days.

When I protested and told him that I really did not have extra time to put in the next couple of days he asked why he should be expected to pay me for my vacation. I told him that I hadn't expected him to pay me for the vacation originally and that he frankly didn't have to give me paid time off, but I also made it clear that I wasn't going to do free work. He cut the conversation off then and ignored me the rest of the day until Ieft.

I have worked unpaid overtime before and he hints on a regular basis that he expects us to do tasks at home during out own time. He justifys it by acting like we have nothing better to do than free work for him or asking us to do small tasks. However, small tasks add up and my time is more valuable to me then it apparently is to him.

I shouldn't have lost my temper and I am upset with myself that I forfeited my vacation pay, but was I wrong to refuse working time I wouldn't be compensated for? Vacation pay should not be considered overtime pay or compensation for hours I put in after my 8 hours. I figured that If he doesn't pay me for the vacation time, he at least won't have an excuse to make me work the extr hours without paying me. I am curious if anyone has advice for how I should approach this topic with my boss again or how I should tackle it if he brings it up.

This is not the first time that I have had issues with him for expecting me to put in my personal time without pay. I have put in many hours in the past that I was never paid for and have tries to tell him as nicely as I can several times that asking for my person time is unreasonable, but everytime I put my foot down, it seems like it is only a matter of time before he is trying to wrangle free work out of me again. I have also never taken a sick day where I wasn't expected to put in at least a half day at work or makeup time over the weekend. Should I perhaps ask him or the co-owner to come up with a more concrete time off policy in writing to avoid this issue in the future? Is there another approach I should take? Is it maybe time to quit and move on? This is my first full time job out is college and I am nervous that I won't find another position where the money is this good and I am able to actually use my skills, but it is becoming unbearable.

closed as off-topic by scaaahu, Jim G., gnat, Chris E, Joe Strazzere Jan 14 '15 at 13:58

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking advice on company-specific regulations, agreements, or policies should be directed to your manager or HR department. Questions that address only a specific company or position are of limited use to future visitors. Questions seeking legal advice should be directed to legal professionals. For more information, click here." – scaaahu, Jim G., Chris E, Joe Strazzere
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    What country are you in? Can you edit the last two paragraphs into a more succinct and specific question? The four paragraphs are a pretty easy read, but when I hit the last two it becomes difficult to read... – daaxix Jan 14 '15 at 6:03
  • 2
    "I figured that If he doesn't pay me for the vacation time, he at least won't have an excuse to make me work the extr hours without paying me" Those are separate issues. Two wrongs don't make right. – Jan Doggen Jan 14 '15 at 8:47
  • 3
    My rule is never continue to work for someone who expects you do do illegal things like work overtime without pay when you are not salaried. There will be more and more illegal and unthical things that will be required. – HLGEM Jan 14 '15 at 14:24

You're going to benefit from a paper trail on this one.

If you made the request via email, you have undeniable proof that he said he'd give you the time off. I would also strongly encourage you to look around in official company handouts to find the time off policy, as that is vital to have laying around in situations like this.

Look for anything official around paid vacations. If the request was a formal one for a paid vacation, then having that paperwork will also be vital in building up a stronger defense for yourself.

Simply put, so long as you have a paper trail, if an issue arises, then bring it up with his colleague and your case will be much stronger. If you didn't, bring it up with them anyway since it's becoming a major interference in your own personal time.

If you find that the issues really do outweigh the benefits, there's no shame in finding somewhere else where your talents can shine. Even though you're fresh out of college, you're still looking for a job that fits you the best.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.